There are a number of reasons that people aspire to living in Parkhurst. Beautifully renovated homes which smack of a bygone era, a unique café culture, a sense of community and a hugely popular park are but a few. Now, fibre-to-the-home is another.
According to a recent report, Parkhurst’s residents have opted to introduce fibre-to-the-home services to the suburb following a survey which found that 67% of residents in the area would be willing to spend R750 or more each month on such services.
A once-off installation fee of R2 500 per household is charged and line speeds of between 4Mbs and 1000Mbs will be available at prices ranging from R499 to R1 299pm. Residents will also be able to purchase their bandwidth from a number of competing providers once the network is installed. In addition to high-speed broadband, the network will also provide support for community initiatives such as high definition video camera security.
Association Chairwoman Cheryl Labuschagne believes property values in the area will increase significantly once the network is installed. Gregor Farmer of Kings Estates, which specialises in servicing Johannesburg’s northern suburbs, is inclined to agree.
Says Farmer: “Slow and unreliable ADSL was arguably the only drawback to living in Parkhurst. With this initiative, that will be a thing of the past and will definitely give residents more of an edge come time to sell, especially if a CCTV network is also introduced.”
Not that buyers need much convincing, it seems. According to Farmer, Parkhurst homes are snapped up within weeks of being brought to market. Such movement is particularly impressive when viewed in the context that the majority of Parkhurst properties feature just two bedrooms, sit astride plots measuring 500sqms and are priced at between R2-million and R8-million.
So what is Parkhurst’s secret? The suburb originally formed part of a farm that was sold to the African Realty Trust in 1903. According to records on the area, a competition was held to decide on the name of the suburb. Strangely, from the 11 000 odd names that were entered, the name Parkhurst was chosen. Parkhurst was and still is a well-known English jail on the Isle of Wight.
Over the years the suburb blossomed. In more recent times a “designer set” moved in and the area is now considered one of Johannesburg’s trendiest suburbs. Owners have taken to converting the quaint 40s- and 50s-style homes into designer pads, and 4th Avenue in particular brims with all manner of high-end fashion designers, décor shops, vintage stores, galleries, antique dealers, restaurants and boutique shops.
Of course Parkhurst’s local Verity Park also plays a major role in the suburb’s success story. The park acts as a hub for residents and is used daily for exercise, dog-walking and kiddies’ parties.
Notes Farmer: “Combined, all of these elements make for a truly unique suburb that appeals greatly to residents, from aspirant couples to those looking to retire. With the advent of fibre-to-the-home, Parkhurst really will be a hard suburb to beat.”